The New Humanitarian Annual Report 2021

  1. Home
  2. Middle East and North Africa
  3. Iraq

Parliament finds spare cash for IDPs

The Iraqi government says because of a drop in sectarian violence in the country, thousands of displaced people are returning home.
(DVIC)

The Iraqi parliament decided on 6 December to allocate 500 million Iraqi dinars (about US$410,000) to help displaced families nationwide.

The money is unused attendance allowances for members of parliament (MPs), explained Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani.

“This is a preliminary payment and will be followed by more. The money has already been sent to parliament’s displacement committee to distribute,” al-Mashhadani said.

In a bid to curb frequent absences of its members, Iraq’s 275 MPs decided to recycle unused attendance allowances in this way.

The displacement committee said it would use the money to buy food, blankets, hygiene kits and clothes, especially for children, and other essentials which will be distributed to internally displaced persons (IDPs).

“It has become very hard for the government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to meet the increasing needs of these [displaced] families and especially those who are living in camps and abandoned government buildings,” said MP Abdul-Hadi Mohammed.

“Most of these families are living in harsh conditions and need every penny, especially those who have children or chronic diseases,” Mohammed said.

He said it had become hard to determine how much money these families needed each month as their numbers were increasing.

Displacement in Iraq is presenting an enormous humanitarian challenge and extreme hardship, say aid agencies.

Displacement figures

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says there are some 2.2 million IDPs in Iraq, while more than 2.2 million others have fled to neighbouring states, particularly Syria (about 1.2 million) and Jordan (up to 750,000). Around one million of the estimated 4.4 million Iraqis that have been forced to flee their homes did so before the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Early in November the UNHCR said continuing violence had forced an average of 60,000 Iraqis from their homes in the preceding few months.

According to a report released on 4 November by the Iraqi Red Crescent, the number of IDPs in Iraq is now greater than the number of Iraqis who have fled the country. “Nearly 2.3 million people have been driven from their neighbourhoods [internally displaced] as Iraq is increasingly carved up along sectarian lines,” the report said.

sm/ar/cb


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article
Join the discussion

Right now, we’re working with contributors on the ground in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries to tell the stories of people enduring and responding to a rapidly evolving humanitarian crisis.

We’re documenting the threats to humanitarian response in the country and providing a platform for those bearing the brunt of the invasion. Our goal is to bring you the truth at a time when disinformation is rampant. 

But while much of the world’s focus may be on Ukraine, we are continuing our reporting on myriad other humanitarian disasters – from Haiti to the Sahel to Afghanistan to Myanmar. We’ve been covering humanitarian crises for more than 25 years, and our journalism has always been free, accessible for all, and – most importantly – balanced. 

You can support our journalism from just $5 a month, and every contribution will go towards our mission. 

Support The New Humanitarian today.

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.

Join